Scuba Diving - - Encounters -

Keep­ing you warm is a wet­suit’s main task, but in some ways, it's the trick­i­est to eval­u­ate.

Our gear tests of­ten in­clude de­tailed ob­jec­tive test­ing — such as run­ning regs on a breath­ing sim­u­la­tor, or dive com­put­ers in a hy­per­baric cham­ber — that’s not re­ally pos­si­ble with wetsuits. While we asked test divers to rate suits for warmth (see “How We Test”), we ac­knowl­edge the sub­jec­tive na­ture of as­sess­ments that are con­tin­gent on so many vari­ables, from the num­ber and con­di­tion of pre­vi­ous dives to — above all — the in­di­vid­ual fit of a suit.

Given that, it was no sur­prise in re­view­ing our re­sults that the best-fit­ting suits (in­clud­ing the fit of neck, wrist and an­kle seals) felt the warm­est to divers.

But what did sur­prise us a bit was that divers some­times noted that a suit felt no­tice­ably “warmer” to them — some­times even after they had al­ready com­pleted mul­ti­ple pre­vi­ous dives that day.

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